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februari 09, 2013

Golf for Game Boy

I watched a little of the recent AVGN Golf episode. And I came to think of the game Golf for Game Boy, which I played all the time for a period as a kid.
Golf (EU)

Let's see how much I remember of it. :D For this game, you will benefit from a manual or from a little guide like I will write for you.

As you can see in the video (not my video, as always) it has a battery save so you can see your results and start where you left off. You can press Select at the title screen to see all the best scores so far. There is a Japan and a US course, and the Japan course is easier. In the US course, not only are the courses more difficult, you also will face strongers winds and more difficult greens.

To explain the basics of a golf video game: Change club by pressing up and down. Change the aim by pressing left and right. The clubs all have a maximum reach, in yards, that is listed in the manual. This FAQ calculated the distance himself, which is actually different than the manual says, but pretty accurate: http://www.gamefaqs.com/gameboy/585733-golf/faqs/29829.  Differences might be because he calculated the length from tee and with max hit force, but the manual counts from fairway and almost max hit force. I used that manual A LOT back in the days so I suggest you keep the FAQ nearby if you don't have the manual. I think the manual costs like 1$ on eBay should you want it.

I took a blurry photo of it. See, from fairway.

Manuals are often useful. I complain about that sometimes, why don't people look in the manual on how to play games? Not every game can be figured out just by pressing buttons. The FAQ guy didn't mention backspin because he didn't have the manual. I will explain backspin soon.

Press B to see the full map to plan your shot, as in the video.

There is an arrow that shows the wind. The more wind, the more you need to adjust both power and left-right. This is actually tricky because it depends on different factors. For example, if you hit a high shot, the wind will affect it more.

The display at the bottom also shows how deep the ball is in the grass. The deeper it is, the less power your shot will have on it. From deep in the bunker you may only be able to hit it 30 yards, and remember that you should use the SW or PW from in the bunker.

After selecting club and aim, you press A to start the shot. Then press A to have the meter go up. The farther up it goes, the harder you will shoot. Then it will go back. Press again to make it stop. If you hit the second time right on the mark, the ball will go were you aimed (adjusted for wind). If you hit it to the right or left it will make a slice or a hook.

Slices and hooks can be useful on purpose to avoid trees or to compensate for wind, but most of the times you want to ball to go where you aim.

Also, if you press Up while you make the shot, the ball will go high. This is useful for avoiding trees, if you want to use a strong wind in the balls direction, or if there is a water hazard. If you press Down while making the shot, the ball will go lower. This can be useful if you don't want to suffer strong wind against you.

A nice little trick is that if you press Left or Right while shooting, AND the marker stops in the black area on its way down, you will give the ball backspin. Not possible from tee though. Useful while you want to chip into the green, so that the ball doesn't roll away, or to avoid waters.

I think all of these factors is what makes the game interesting. There is no set formula to win. You have to use intuition, luck, or cheating.

Alright, even if you are as bad as the player in video, you will reach the green eventually.

The arrows show how the green is leaning. Big arrows means a big leaning. Remember to use backspin to counter strong arrows, or the ball will roll very much -- and to great annoyance.

Inside the green you have to use your putter and can't use backspin.

The game will save after each shot you make, so you can turn the game boy off and continue right back! The "cheat" is that you can restart the game boy quickly after a failed shot to attempt it again...

Well even though I played it a lot, I still remember it as being an annoying game that is impossible to master. But that's Golf for you. If you must play Golf, I suggest playing it on the Game Boy.

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